Category Archives: Lifestyle & Fashion

Rum’s Long Journey to the Drinks Cabinet

Glass of rumRum, with its beautiful woody sheen and complex taste, is greatly revered around the world. Bottles of rum line the shelves of bars and can be found in the drinks cabinets of many homes. But, the sophistication of its taste belies its long and colourful history.

Pre-Historic Roots

The history of rum is believed to pre-date the written record. The drink, like many great spirits, traces its birth to antiquity. The fermented liquid of sugarcane, the first iteration of rum, was distilled in either India or China. However, details are scarce. It was in the 14th century that one of the first accounts of the drink graced the annals of Western history — Marco Polo first mentions an excellent “wine of sugar”.

Caribbean Nights

Several centuries after Marco Polo’s first taste of rum in a region which is now in present-day Iran, rum production became a thriving trade in the Caribbean. Slaves on plantations discovered a sugary residue — molasses — and took advantage of its innate tendency to transform into an intoxicating elixir. This process can be closely observed in brewing kits from stores such as Distill Spirits. From the canteens of the slaves to the coffers of the masters, rum became a much-valued product.

Records show that in the 1620s, there was already rum production in Brazil. A tin bottle, filled with the liquid has been discovered within the wreck of the Swedish ship Vasa, which sank in Sweden in 1628.

The Spread

Before the end of the 17th century, the popularity of rum reached North America, and several distilleries were set-up in areas that were being populated by early colonists. Soon, rum production became one of New England’s most prosperous industry. Since then, the spirit’s popularity has continued to grow worldwide.

With a colourful history bound intimately around travel and enterprise, rum has managed to capture the imagination of many.

6-Month-Smile: Makin Dreams Possible

Woman SmilingIt is usually during middle school that children wear braces. Some of them have it until the day the graduate from high school, thus that awkward yearbook picture.

Thankfully, as an adult, you need not go through that awkward and embarrassing phase of sporting metallic braces because there are other alternative ways to get the perfect set of teeth, minus the shiny metals.

What is Six-Month-Smiles?

Your dentist in Sutton Coldfield can offer you a six-month clear braces treatment known as Six-Month-Smiles. It is a teeth alignment procedures that, unlike traditional braces, uses brackets and tooth-colored titanium wires to align your teeth. The whole treatment process itself is designed to last for 6-months ideally. This means a more comfortable and safer alternative to traditional braces.

How does it work?

Six-Month-Smiles works like traditional braces in a sense that it aligns your teeth but is focused on aligning ones that can be seen when you smile (thus the name). Six-Month-Smile is a popular choice for teens and adults because of the seemingly invisible material used in the procedure.

Aside from shorter periods of treatment, Six-Month-Smile also boasts of its comfortable treatment procedure. Because the treatment itself is gentle, patients can barely feel pain or discomfort during the whole 6-month period.

Who can undergo such treatment?

Patients who aspire to have a perfect set of teeth solely for aesthetic purposes are the ones who can benefit most from this treatment. People who do not need any correction with their bites, or teeth positioning can opt to have this treatment to have the perfect set of teeth instead of going through intensive procedures of traditional braces.

Have the smile that you always wanted minus the pain and the hassle of braces. Whoever said “no pain, no gain” certainly haven’t experienced the Six-Month-Smile treatment.

On Base Malts: Distinguish the Six Types of Malts for Your Beer

Beer in a glassPeople often drink because of either of two reasons – to celebrate or to wash away their sorrows. When you are forlorn, you drink, and when you feel triumphant, you drink, as well.

Why Do You Drink?

Alcoholic beverages have become a necessity in many occasions – and it’s not a new phenomenon. People have been drinking wine for centuries; it’s even present in the oldest of scriptures, such as the Bible. More often than not, to partake in drinking is to raise glasses for merriment.

Apart from wine, beer is a drink that many people across the world enjoy. Over the years, some beer aficionados have transitioned to brewing their own beer or spirits, burying themselves in the process of achieving that particular taste or their individual drink preference. The Brew Shop offers hints and tips for those who want to pursue the craft of brewing beer:

Brewing Your Beer: The Six Types of Base Malts

Malt beer is amongst the most famous of beers. But there are only a few who know what base malts specifically offer. The three elements that base malts contribute are flavour, colour, and sugars that are fermentable. Listed below are the six types of base malts:

  1. Pilsen Malt is the lightest. Its colour offers a thin and crisp flavour to beer, with a grain bill of less than 80 per cent.
  2. Pale Ale Malt provides an amber colour, making it the top base for most kinds of ale like amber, mild and extra special bitters because of its bready and sweetish taste.
  3. 2 Row Pale Malt is the usual base malt for a lot of beers. A tad yellow in colour, it offers a bit of grain flavour, which makes it attractive.
  4. 6 Row Pale Malt, meanwhile, has a sharper flavour whilst having nearly the same colour as the 2 Row Pale.
  5. Vienna Malt, on the one hand, is darker and has a nutty and tangy flavour that can be a little overwhelming.
  6.  Munich Malt is the darkest. Its flavours are toasty, which makes it a significant part of German lagers.

If you want to brew your beer, it’s best to start out with these six malts. Always remember that these base malts have their respective characteristics that distinguish them from one another.

Bath: Your Next Short Holiday Destination

The Roman Baths of Bath, England in the evening Going for a short day trip or a weekend break in Bath has always held an appeal to many people. Aside from the hot springs and the water’s purported healing properties, many people love to see the surrounding countryside that has held an appeal since Mesolithic times. However, Bailbrook Lodge advises that short breaks need detailed plans and great places to stay, too. For those going on a short trip to Bathmake a list of the things you must do to make the most out of your stay.

Visit the Roman Baths

Never leave the city without visiting the Roman Baths. These are the remains of one of the greatest spas during the Roman era. An active site since the Iron Age, the area has been known to be dedicated to the Celtic goddess Sulis and the Roman goddess Minerva. A free audio guide is given to help you navigate the complex.

Drop by the Royal Crescent

The Royal Crescent is a prime example of Georgian architecture. Built in the 1700s, this structure includes several townhouses which housed various notables in British history, and a five-star luxury hotel. Visit this 250-year-old structure and marvel at its 110 Ionian columns.

See the Victoria Art Gallery

This is one of the free galleries you can visit in Bath. It is known for having extensive collections of works from Thomas Gainsborough, Walter Sickert, to many modern artists.

Grab a bite at Sally Lunn

Bath also has a world-famous bread. Sold since the late 1700s, the bun is similar to a brioche. You can visit Sally Lunn for afternoon tea and enjoy the colourful history of the town and the bread itself. The restaurant also doubles as a museum, so take the time to stroll around and investigate the myths surrounding this bread.

Enjoy your accommodations

Accommodations in Bath are something to enjoy as well. Different establishments from Georgian homes, English countryside barns, to unique bed and breakfast boutique hotels allow you to enjoy the City’s historic atmosphere and serene countryside.

Who says short breaks are not fun? Bath offers day trippers and those on a weekend trip an enjoyable time. No matter how short or long your stay is, you can make it memorable and fun in Bath.

Barber Shop Business: Why Not?

Successful Barber ShopIn America alone, there are thousands of barber shops operating on a daily basis. These barber shops have a steady flow of clients, are easy to manage, and do not require a heavy startup cost. But then again, businesses succeed, thrive, and oftentimes fail. To avoid these pitfalls, there are certain key elements you need to remember. There is no reason to shy away from operating a barber shop. All you need to know are the basics.

What You Need to Know about the Barber Shop Biz

It is important that you know your target market. Who are your target customers? What is the demographic for these customers? If you are aiming for the yuppies, then the location and operating hours will vary as well, as yuppies frequent commercial establishments after working hours.

You also have to be clear with the kind of services you want to offer. For example, you could do the basic cutting and shaving. You could also add massages and facial treatments, depending on the kind of market you want to have.

The next element you need to consider is the place where you plan to set up your barber shop. Conduct a feasibility study if possible. See if the location is convenient to you and your target market. Check the routes and neighboring establishments. If you see any competition, consider establishing your barber shop elsewhere. It may be ideal to choose a place where you are the ONLY one offering barber services.

Moreover, you have to study the space where you’ll set up your barber shop. Consider the rent that you’ll pay on top of your other bills. Other matters include your staff, payment, training, and the overall management of your business.

However, the more important thing is the education you’ll get from a good barber school in Salt Lake City, Utah. Choose a school where you could learn new haircuts and styles. A barber school should not only teach you how to style men’s hair, but also aid you in the business side of things. Solid skills and impressive technical know-how is one thing, but entrepreneurial skills are something else altogether.

Athletes and Eating Disorders

Woman with eating disorderWhen you look at the world’s elite athletes, familiar images come to mind. They seem like the perfect examples of peak physical fitness: faster, stronger, and quicker than most of the general populace. Not to mention, they have great-looking physiques to boot. Typically, such people wouldn’t be suffering from any debilitating conditions, such as eating disorders. After all, they have to be on top of their nutrition for maximum athletic performance.

Not a lot of people know, however, that even high-level athletes can suffer from eating disorders. Treatment centers such as EDCare would know. Despite the seemingly strict diet regimen of these competitors, they are as vulnerable to eating disorders as anyone else.

An Inconvenient Dietary Truth

A study of NCAA Division 1 athletes, as stated by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), reveals concerning results. Over one-third of female athletes are at risk of anorexia nervosa. It’s worth noting that the data isn’t something surprising. The NEDA also maintains, in these terms, that the pressures of athletic competition (when combined with a cultural emphasis on a slender body image) seem to present perfect conditions for the development of eating disorders.

The situation isn’t different for male athletes. While 5-10 of anorexia cases are already composed of men, 45 percent of these males participate in occupations or athletic endeavors where weight control is considered critical for peak performance. In comparison, only 9 percent of anorexic women figure in physically demanding activities where weight control is necessary.

A Focus On Individuality

Eating disorder specialist, Dr. Ron Thompson believes that the kind of sports plays is a factor. He cites the situation of athletes participating in ‘lean’ sports or those with strict weight class requirements as good examples. In these sports, low body weight or a lean physique is believed to be essential for a competitive advantage.

There is one harsh truth, however, about these ‘lean’ sports: they focus on the individual athlete rather than the team. Experts also call these tilts ‘judged’ sports, where bodily aesthetics comprise much of the competition criteria. A perfect example is bodybuilding, where athletes go on extremely strict diets (alongside intense training) to improve their muscular definition. The tendency of these athletes to develop eating disorders is self-explanatory.

It’s wrong to assume that athletes don’t develop eating disorders. They need help as much as the common populace does when that day comes. 

4 Secrets to Enjoying a Great Ski Holiday with Your Family

Ski HolidayThere is nothing like enjoying a ski holiday with your family. There is the thrill of rushing down the slopes, followed by some quiet bonding time with each other inside your comfortable accommodations. 

Like with almost every other trip you make, however, group ski holidays require some research and planning. This helps you ensure that you and your family end up having a good time together. Here are a few things you need to do:

1. Schedule your holiday wisely.

Christmas and half-terms are some of the busiest days at the slopes. They are also, of course, the most expensive. If you can schedule skiing trips off-season, such as in January, you will be rewarded with almost-empty slopes and lower prices.

2. Book everything ahead of time.

Book your accommodations, rent your ski gear and equipment (which is more advisable than buying brand new ones), and get ski lessons for beginners well ahead of time. Otherwise, you will end up in a queue for hours when you could be enjoying your holiday time on the slopes.

3. Get ski lessons.

If you are planning to stay in the snow for several days, then at least take the time to make sure everyone knows the basic ski manoeuvres. Ski lessons for beginners can be quite costly, but everyone needs to learn how to make their way around in their skis if you want them to have fun.

4. Choose a family-friendly chalet.

Family-friendly accommodations offer special services that can help take the stress off travelling with family. For instance, they provide childcare (which you have to book in advance), playrooms, and catered meals to ensure you and your children have healthy, nutritious meals all throughout your stay.

A ski holiday with your family requires some time to plan. To make sure everyone has a great time, it is important that you pick the right time, choose the right resort, and book everything in advance.

Simple Hacks to Style a Vintage Chic Wedding

vintage style weddingFrom elegantly romantic, old Hollywood glam, to country rustic, with a low-key, fun backyard wedding vibe where beloved guests drink and eat from vintage tableware and play carefree games, there’s a vintage trend for you no matter your budget.

The Key is to Mix and Match

When decorating a vintage wedding, keep the word ‘mismatched’ mind. Nothing says vintage than table centrepieces with mismatched knickknack differing from one table to another. Consider pairing lace with more rustic textures like wood and burlap. For a more shabby chic vibe, pair your flower arrangements with delicate pompoms and buntings, delicate antique tablecloths, as well as exquisite vintage crockery. Bust out your grandmother’s vintage teapots, cups, vases, old telephones, suitcases, and typewriter. To maximise what you paid for hired vintage wedding cars, experts at Noosa Woody Hire suggest that you incorporate them into your décor.

Stay away from having uniform floral arrangements and opt for smaller ones with different flowers, some branches and twigs. For more rustic and natural floral centrepieces, opt for tiny, country or wild flowers that look like they’d just been plucked and place them in mismatched vases, pots, or crockery. Mason jars could also serve as the perfect flower holders — colour them according to your wedding colours, or to contrast with your wedding colours, for subtle pops of colour all around your venue.

Another excellent idea to hang everything. Hanging a pretty selection of vintage props and wild flowers above tables would look dreamy when paired with candles in vintage containers on the tables. You could also put flowers inside tiny vintage jars and hang them around the venue. Don’t forget those dainty chandeliers. You could use just one suspended in the dancing area as a statement piece or multiple chandeliers in different sizes and styles for a more dramatic effect. Wrought iron chandeliers and candelabras dressed with delicate flowers and vines also make remarkable centrepieces.

The Takeaway

The main thing to keep in mind is that you should steer clear of cookie-cutter, uniform centrepieces where every single table looks exactly the same, and instead have fun, keep everything elegant and classy, but in a romantic and understated manner — that’s what vintage chic is all about.

How Much Do You Need to Spend for a London Vacation?

London VacationThe costs of spending for a vacation in London has dropped due to the EU referendum vote in June 2016, making it a good time for that much-desired trip.

Ever since a majority of British voters opted to leave the EU, the pound has declined 14% against the greenback and 11% against the euro. For a clearer illustration, the pound amounted to $1.50 on June 23, which was the scheduled voting day. In less than two weeks after that, the currency fell to $1.29.

The currency’s decline was considered to be the steepest in 31 years. Despite this situation causing alarm for financial markets worldwide, the opposite can be said for those wanting to see the British capital.

Where to Stay

American tourists in particular can find the extreme drop in the pound to be a favourable one, especially since it will make affordable accommodation in London even more budget-friendly. If you are feeling a little extravagant, spending a night in one of the city’s luxury hotels will not seem to lavish at all.

That is not all. The cost for seeing tourist attractions have become more affordable, as well. Within two weeks after Brexit, a pair of tickets for a tour around certain areas of the Buckingham Palace cost £74, or roughly $95.40, a huge discount compared to the usual rate of $111 when converted into the foreign exchange rate during that time.

Fast forward to January 2017 and the situation still remains largely unchanged. Americans can still find the foreign conversion rate from dollars to pounds to be very attractive.

Euro Trip

While going on a trip to London and other European cities may still require you shell out more money for travel expenses. Aside from Americans, Canadians are likewise enjoying higher currency conversions against the pound, although not as great when exchanging dollars.

Accommodation should be one of your priorities. In London, there are many affordable places to stay during your trip that will make you reconsider that spending time in the city is not that expensive after all.

The Answer to Your Summer Hair Disasters

hair school in Salt Lake CityIt’s summertime and living’s supposed to be easy — not for your hair, unfortunately. Heat could easily degrade your hair’s protective proteins, oxidizing your dye job or natural hair color to a brassy nightmare, eliminating luster, and leaving your hair brittle. What’s more, moisture-zapping saltwater and chlorine, frizz-inducing humidity, and UV rays could easily leave your mane parched.

Keep you hair shining and protected with these summer hair care tricks:

How to Fight Frizz

Humidity makes your hair susceptible to frizz. Even if your hair isn’t typically prone to damage, humidity could roughen your cuticles and allow water molecules to penetrate your hair shaft, which in turn makes it swell. Consider a silicon-based smoothening serum. This would temporarily hold your cuticles together, flatten the roughness, and prevent the absorption of those pesky water molecules.

How to Protect your Dye Job

Whether you have your natural hair color intact or a pricey dye job, sunlight will bleach it out. However, the results might not be what you’re looking for. Although it’s possible that your hair might gain some pretty highlights from sun exposure. If your hair is processed, it could lose its luster and turn brassy, says a hair care expert from Collectiv Academy, a renowned hair school in Salt Lake City.

Counteract the effects of the sun by making a sunblock for your hair. However, since there’s really no effective dye or products to negate the effects of UV rays on your hair — added SPF could help, though — go for a wide-brimmed hat with a tightly woven fabric or one made with UPF fabric.

How to Minimize Greasiness

If you have an oily scalp, prepare for it to get worse during the summer because heat will trigger your sebaceous glands to produce more oil, while sweat adds to your problem, making your mane look greasier and dirtier. If you have extremely an oily scalp, consider shampooing daily, even twice daily if you’re very active during the summer. But, take note that you could have very greasy roots, but dry ends, so don’t skip your conditioner. Make sure, though, to only apply it on your ends and parts where you feel your hair needs it.

While you might live to bask in the sun when summer rolls around, remember that you also have to take extra care of your hair. So while you lie out in the sun and tan your skin, keep these summer hair care hacks in mind.